5 New Zealand Designers Making Kiwi Fashion Extra Cool!

Okay, New Zealand Fashion Week happened, like, almost three months ago. But given the fanfare was taking place just as the New York and European runways were heating up, it took a while to sort through the sartorial rubble, so to speak. That said, we wanted to report back on a handful of Kiwi designers who don't let their far-flung environs slow them down. While New Zealand Fashion Week didn't offer the volume of shows that our Western Hemisphere friends do, there is definitely a quality-over-quantity vibe at work.
Among our favorites — and likely yours, too — Lonely Hearts (could they be the next Lover-meets-Karen Walker?), Deryn Schmidt (loved her use of bold, saturated color!), and Katie-Maree Cole (whose quirky Western styling totally charmed us). Click through to see the best of what young New Zealand designers are cooking up for autumn '12 (they're not six months ahead — their seasons are just reversed!).
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PS: If you happen to be in the market for a journey to Auckland — a mini fashion mecca in its own rite—we recommend a stay at the Hotel DeBrett. This boutique gem not only has an insanely sweet little restaurant on the premises, but the rooms — a mix of Deco and Danish-Modern — are just the thing to put you in a fashion-forward state of mind.
Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Miranda Brown

Miranda Brown is well-known for her commitment to consciously made clothing, and her autumn '12 collection took on a new shape and energy. Cut-out details, asymmetric lines, and exaggerated draping complemented her mostly monochromatic looks that provided a cool mix of nature-inspired prints and modern design.

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Miranda Brown

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng mira
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Miranda Brown

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Miranda Brown

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Katie-Maree Cole

Part prairie-girl, part Big City grunge, we instantly spotted Katie-Maree Cole as one of our NZ Fashion Week faves. With a light feminine touch, the collection boasts a nice smattering of silk blouses, lace details, and tartan skirts, all paired with worn-in combat books. The result: instant wardrobe inspiration.

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Katie-Maree Cole

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Katie-Maree Cole

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Deryn Schmidt

Deryn Schmidt kicked up her retro heels for her latest autumn collection. Alluring patterns in soft, muted tones got a shot of cool with red and other jewel-tones. The sharp tailoring and beautifully draped pieces won us over big time.

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Deryn Schmidt

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Deryn Schmidt

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Deryn Schmidt

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Whiri

Whiri paired beautiful ethnic prints, sleek-yet-casual looks, and a few mega-statement jewelry pieces on the runway at NZFW. From designers, and husband-wife duo, Keri Wanoa and Hemi Sundgren, the Whiri collection caught our attention by taking fresh streetwear and giving it new form and a bit of edge.

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Whiri

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Whiri

Photo: Courtesy of Michael Ng
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Lonely Hearts

For fall '12, Lonely Hearts really nailed down a place on our list of designer crushes, thanks to their collection of playful frocks, in-your-face color choices, and whimsical styling effects. Mastering sweet collared dresses and a head-to-toe printed pant-dress combo, we're hoping that the entire Lonely Hearts collection has a valid passport to fly its way over into our closets.

Photo: Courtesy of Lonely Hearts
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Lonely Hearts

Photo: Courtesy of Lonely Hearts
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Lonely Hearts

Photo: Courtesy of Lonely Hearts
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Lonely Hearts

Photo: Courtesy of Lonely Hearts
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